Your CV is spectacular; your cover letter engaging. You’ve been to numerous interviews and everyone was smiles and nods, but you still don’t have a job.
What’s gone wrong?
Most likely if you’ve had a number of interviews, you can assume your CV, covering letter and follow-up are good. Just as likely, your qualifications and experience are also a good match for the positions for which you are applying.
That leaves your interview and follow-up as the likely culprits.
Check to make sure you are following the basics of good interview techniques:
- Dress to impress
- Maintain eye contact
- Shake hands firmly
- Speak clearly and evenly
- Answer the questions asked without digressing
- Use real-life examples that speak to the skills and qualities needed in the job
- Do not enquire about salary at the interview
- Ask pointed questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company when given the opportunity
- Follow up after the interview frequently in writing and by telephone
In my experience, one of the biggest killers in an interview occurs when the candidate lacks confidence and displays nervousness. This can translate as inexperience and inability to a potential employer. These candidates fidget, avoid eye contact, stumble over their answers and don’t provide examples that demonstrate the skills required.
Employers want to hire candidates that exude confidence without being arrogant. They want to hear solid facts and details that demonstrate you can do the job. The best way to exhibit confidence and experience is through role playing and practise. Practise in front of a mirror; role play with a friend. Practise until answers and conversation come naturally and without hesitation.
If you follow these tips and are still having difficulty finding employment, you may want to take a look at your salary expectations. If you’ve provided the employer a salary range at any stage of the process, they may feel your expectations are unrealistic. Try to avoid conversations regarding salary requirements until after the employer has made an offer of employment, and let them make the opening bid.